Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Nigeria police free 58 hostages held by gangs

Nigeria police free 58 hostages held by gangs
A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist...   -  
Copyright © africanews


Nigeria's police said Sunday they had freed 58 hostages held by gangs in the central state of Kogi in an operation that left one of the abductees dead.

The kidnappings are one of the challenges facing President-elect Bola Tinubu, who is due to be sworn in in May after February's presidential election, the result of which was disputed by the opposition.

Police "rescued 58 people taken hostage in Udulu forest," said a spokeswoman, Josephine Adeh. No indication was given on the location of the abductions or how long the victims were held captive.

One of them "was unfortunately injured during the operation and died on the spot... 58 other people were treated in a hospital", added Josephine Adeh.

The rescue operation was conducted with other security agencies and hunters from several local communities," she said.

After a shootout, the hostage-takers fled, leaving the hostages behind, according to the police.

Kidnapping has become a very lucrative business in Nigeria with ransom payments. To counter the scourge, the Central Bank of Nigeria last year changed bank notes and imposed restrictions on weekly cash withdrawals.

But facing strong public opposition and a court ruling, it allowed the old notes to be used again in March until the end of this year.

View more